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Sunderland boss staying positive

last updated Thursday 06th April 2006, 11:00 AM
Kevin Ball
Kevin Ball

Sunderland caretaker boss Kevin Ball says he is already looking ahead to next season and looking to get the squad in a positive frame of mind for a promotion assault.

The Black Cats are all-but relegated from The Premiership after a disastrous season, and behind the scenes preparations are being made for next season in The Championship.

Ball has taken over from Mick McCarthy after his sacking, and he would like to be handed the job full time at the end of the season.

The temporary boss has seen some slight improvement in performances, and they managed to fend off the drop with a 2-2 draw at Everton last weekend.

Ball says that it is important to get a fresh confidence into his side and end the season on a high, to make sure they are ready to make a promotion bid next season.

"I think it's important, like I said before, because of the run the team's been on and because of the way we've been improving, that we changed their belief," said Ball.

"We tried to change that sort of belief to get it positive and change the mental toughness side of it.

"We want to make sure between now and the end of the season that they went out and played games and done as well as they can so that next year we have built a bit of momentum so they don't come back with that same mentality of going through a losing spell."

It is only a matter of time before Sunderland go down, but Ball is eager for the team to keep fighting until the end to make sure they can hit the ground running next season.

Source Paul Higham at SkySport
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